Dixon Hughes Goodman plans to merge in the accounting firm Swart Lalande & Associates in Fairfax, Va., effective November 1.

Swart, Lalande & Associates has been in business since 1960, and has a staff of more than 35 professionals. They will become part of Dixon Hughes Goodman and adopt the Dixon Hughes Goodman name.

Dixon Hughes Goodman has more than 1,700 people in 30 offices in 11 states, plus Washington, D.C. The firm ranked 20th on Accounting Today’s list of the Top 100 Firms. Prior to the Swart LaLande merger, the net fees of DHG were $285 million. The net fees for the D.C. metro region of DHG were $40 million. Swart Lalande’s net fees are approximately $6 million.

Within the D.C. metro area, Dixon Hughes Goodman has locations in Rockville, Md., Tysons, Va., and Washington, D.C.  Swart Lalande will be moving its employees from Fairfax, Va., to an expanded Dixon Hughes office in Tysons.

Dixon Hughes regional managing partner Brian S. Carlton sees great synergies from the expanded services and specialized talents of the combined firms. Carlton had been talking with the partners at Swart Lalande for years, but the merger discussions heated up this spring, in the wake of the merger between Dixon Hughes and Goodman.

"We had had a long-term relationship with them," he said in an interview. "They’ve been around for 50 years, and we’ve known them very well over the years. We were really focused in the D.C. region on broadening our skill set as it related to specific industries and services within our region. They have a very strong expertise in construction and real estate, estate and trust, and government contracting. This allows us to broaden our skill set in those industries and services, as we are trying to do in the region, so it was a really good fit from that standpoint."

The two firms had been in talks for several months. “After months of research, conversations and meetings with Dixon Hughes Goodman management and professionals, we are convinced that this venture will truly benefit our valued clients and staff,” Swart Lalande managing shareholder Rick White said in a statement. “Dixon Hughes Goodman embraces our same cultural, operational and ethical values—and prides itself on the ability to combine deep industry experience and comprehensive accounting and advisory services with a strong commitment to personal service.”

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